It's impossible to be sovereign alone.
Once upon a time I used to spitefully claim that I was as successful as I was because I did everything myself. I didn’t need anyone. I misinterpreted sovereignty as independence and misinterpreted independence as freedom.
I’d tell myself and the people I knew that I was successful despite my past, which was rife with setbacks and dysfunction. I was proud of how far I had come. I was a living Cinderella story.
In reality my growth actually was extraordinary then. I did have a lot to be proud of.
But I was missing the mark on a few vital things that would make my continued growth possible.
The first thing I was missing was gratitude. I didn’t get to where I was despite my past. I got to where I was because of it. Every single gift I had unpacked came from struggle. My life had been an initiation that had served me extraordinarily well (painful as it was) and prepared me to excel once I was out on my own. But I didn’t know how to truly be grateful without also being resentful. I was in essence faking gratitude as a means to boost my own ego.
And then there was compassion. I had conflated compassion with understanding for years. It was no trouble at all for me to understand why my family made the choices they did. But wrapped up in all that understanding was my own judgment. That was fine for them — I got it — but I would never do something like that myself. I used understanding to stay superior (safe) and all the while, was unconsciously obstructing my own growth. Because here’s the thing I eventually learned: understanding doesn’t heal us (and neither does judgment in case you’re wondering). Compassion does though, and it also heals others.
Forgiveness is by far the trickiest mark I missed, and one many of us struggle to master. Because we think it’s about forgiving those who have wronged us somewhere down the line. We think it’s about accepting their behavior and we think we can’t forgive them until they apologize.
My loves, forgiveness has nothing to do with apologizing.
Forgiveness is about pardoning ourselves for every moment we’ve taken action from an unhealed wound. Every choice we’ve made out of fear. Every word we’ve said that was rooted in hurt.
Forgiveness is about self-compassion.
We have to learn to forgive ourselves; to allow ourselves to be innocent once again.
It took me a while to really nail this down. I had to practice a lot. But what came of it is an important realization.
Sovereignty has nothing to do with independence. Sovereignty is indeed hugely powerful, but it requires other people in order for it to even exist.
You can’t be sovereign alone. It is intrinsically interdependent. Sovereignty, unlike freedom, assumes relationship.
It’s one thing to understand this conceptually. It’s another thing entirely to live it. To recognize the wholeness in ourselves and in others and to BE sovereign requires an almost constant experience of gratitude, compassion, and forgiveness.
For people like me, who pride ourselves on our individuality, this can be energetically challenging to practice at first. We have to remember to be grateful for things that used to once fuel our resentment and our fear. We have to repurpose our energetic distribution, and we have to constantly choose trust.
But what you get at the end is the power that comes from realizing that you have needs you can’t possibly meet yourself, and that that’s a good thing. The power that comes from letting others care for you, and the power that is inherently embedded in receiving support.
True power stems from a willingness to be vulnerable, and allowing others to show up for you is one of the most vulnerable things you can do.
Let the record show: I did none of this alone. I didn't uncover my gifts alone, I didn't do my early success alone, I didn't do my healing alone, and I'm not doing the exponential growth I'm experiencing now alone.
I’m so proud of the team of people who have contributed to my healing and exponential growth. You’re reading this right now and you know how much you mean to me because I no longer waste an instant not telling you.
If you gain anything from the posts I write, I hope you’ll gain this: stop fooling yourself into believing you can handle life alone. You can’t and you shouldn’t be able to. Not being able to do it alone doesn’t make you some sort of defect; it makes you a human being.
Your life will fundamentally change the instant you open yourself up to let someone else in there, and we all — no matter who we are — need skilled guides to help us out and help us find our way every once in a while.